Seven Rewarding Pit Stops to Make When You're Tackling a Western Sydney Parklands Run
Pet farmyard animals, devour a juicy burger and seek out picturesque lookout points along the way.
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Western Sydney Parklands is Australia's largest urban park, comprising over 5,000 hectares of green space, all for public recreation. You could spend months exploring all the paths, trails and loops this gorgeous area has to offer, but here we've partnered with Adidas to map out one particularly rewarding route. Plus, we've picked out some highlights where you can stop for a respite along the way. Start off at Shale Hills car park (within Shale Hills Dog Park) and head north towards Bungarribee Park. Take a look, then plan your own adventure using the map below.
CALMSLEY HILL CITY FARM
You might be right in the heart of western Sydney, but you can still experience a slice of rural life. After an hour or so of walking, you'll come to Calmsley Hill City Farm where there's not only an opportunity to pet a range of cute farmyard animals, but also the chance to watch a sheep shearing show or join a cow milking demonstration. If you've got a bit more time on your hands, relax in the grounds with a picnic or take advantage of the free public barbecue facilities. With its focus on sustainability and education, the farm is the perfect pit stop if you're walking with the whole family in tow.
SUGARLOAF RIDGE AND MOONRISE LOOKOUT
An ideal spot to recharge your batteries, Sugarloaf Ridge on Border Road has large grassy areas where you can lounge to your heart's content. Just a few minutes' walk away is Moonrise Lookout: a picturesque spot that affords you views over western Sydney and, on a clear day, even as far as the CBD, 40 kilometres away. Both Sugarloaf Ridge and Moonrise Lookout are part of the Moonrise Loop, one of the Western Sydney Parklands' most-loved routes and a tramp that will make you forget you're in the middle of Australia's most populous city.
LIZARD LOG MARKETS
Lizard Log is a nature-themed playground loved by young and old alike and, if you time it right, you can be lucky enough to be there at the same time as Mickey's ice cream van, which does a mean selection of soft serve favourites. If you pop down on a Saturday, you can also have a wander around Lizard Log Markets — a showcase for urban farmers and local producers to sell their wares. There are plenty of stalls selling everything from crafts to pre-owned goods, and it's also a fantastic place to grab a feed with a range of different cuisines on offer each week.
Named after an Italian greeting, Saluti is a cafe, a woodfired pizza restaurant and a wine bar. However, if you're journeying through the parklands and don't have time for a full sit-down meal, there's an extensive takeaway menu for you to get your teeth into. There are a range of sandwich filling options, available on turkish bread, in a wrap or in a panini, plus mouth-watering pastries and muffins and burgers jam-packed with extras. For those keen to keep moving, there's no better place to get a quick takeaway coffee or juice on this route.
Bungarribee Park covers 200 hectares, contains native wildflower and tree life in abundance, and has an award-winning playground for the kids. It's also home to the Warrigal Dog Run, one of Sydney's largest off-leash dog areas and, if you're a fan of our four-legged friends, the perfect setting to meet a whole host of pawsome pals. Dogs are happiest when they have space to run around, a group of playmates, and enthusiastic humans to lavish attention and treats upon them, all of which means Warrigal is practically puppa heaven. Your pats, ear scratches and belly rubs will certainly be appreciated.
Located just next to the Warrigal Dog Run is Stallion Burgers, a killer joint that, unlike a lot of burger places, opens early and acknowledges that burgers are great at any time of day. Everything on the menu is served on soft milk buns and, really, your main issue is choosing where to start. For breakfast, it's hard to look beyond The Kingston which features a chorizo patty, egg, cheese, tomato and mayo. The house specialty, though, is The Stallion, comprising of two beef patties, two types of cheese, whisky sour pickles, onion, tomato, lettuce and — like many a burger emporium — a super-secret sauce. The shipping container outlet also serves hot drinks, soft drinks and water to keep you hydrated.
When you think of zoos in Sydney, you probably think of Taronga. But its younger cousin is well worth your time. Founded in 2015, almost a century after Taronga Zoo opened, Sydney Zoo bills itself as Australia's most advanced zoo. Entry will set you back $39.99 right now and inside you'll find over 1000 species as well as the country's largest reptile house. In addition to sustainability and welfare, the zoo has a strong focus on innovation and technology; it uses the latest techniques to optimise visitor engagement and habitat design. It's the ideal place to see and learn about animals — local and foreign — in an environment tailored to their needs. Time your run to end here and you can spend the rest of the day exploring. It's open from Wednesday to Monday, 9am–5pm.
In need of a new pair of runners? Take a look at the new Adidas Ultraboost 21 runners here. Launch the map below to start plotting your own running adventure in and around Sydney.
Top image: Western Sydney Parklands
Published on March 10, 2021 by Joe Rivers
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